By Tim Parks
Is Italy a united kingdom, or a unfastened association of warring states? Is Italian soccer a recreation, or an ill-disguised protraction of historic enmities?
Tim Parks is going at the highway to persist with the fortunes of Hellas Verona soccer membership, to pay a unique type of stopover at to a few of the world's most pretty towns. it is a hugely own account of 1 man's dating with a rustic, its humans and its nationwide game. A ebook that mixes the pleasures of shuttle writing with a profound research of 1 country's mad, mad means of preserving itself entertained.
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Extra info for A Season With Verona: Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Character, and...Goals!
He’d grown up with slavery and knew that owning oneself was a matter of chance and luck. You don’t hold something that tightly unless you feared losing it. Or, if it has already been taken away once before. You listen for the echo because next to nothing is actually known of Leonardo’s life during his first twenty-six years. We have only a few facts: three tax returns that mention him as a dependent, a guild membership, his arrest by the Florentine police for sodomy, and an early contract for the altarpiece for the Chapel of St.
Italics are mine. Sodomy was nominally a capital crime, punishable (in theory but almost never in practice) by burning at the stake. A statistical survey of the Office of the Night prosecutions show that over a 75-year period (1430–1505) more than 10,000 men were charged with sodomy—a rough average of 130 a year. Of these, about one in five was found guilty. A few were executed; others were exiled, branded, fined or publicly humiliated. Thus the charges leveled against Leonardo in 1476 were by no means uncommon, and by no means trifling.
Constantinople had fallen to the Ottomans just fourteen years before, sending Christian scholars and traders and craftsmen westward like ants out of a flooded nest to places like Venice and Florence. The citizens of Florence surely felt it, that cosmopolitan variety on their streets in just the last few years, all the goods and crafts available, all these people speaking Turkish and Greek. Coming down alongside the river he would have sensed it before he saw it, and seen it before he heard it, and heard it before he could even smell it—stepping finally into that mass of swirling human motion, full of beggars, merchants, princes and pickpockets all pushing past each other.